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Assad ‘wants Hezbollah to kill women and children’, doctor

Syria Qusair mapWomen and children are dying in the battle for control of Qusair and more than 600 people there have been injured, a doctor in Syria has told the BBC.

He said he had seen Hezbollah fighters with his own eyes, and they had strengthened the Assad forces.

He accused the Syrian President Bashar al Assad of oppression, saying civilians in the city did not have drinking water or bread.

“Up until now he [Assad] hasn’t let a single child leave the city… he actually wants Hezbollah to take the lives of our women and children,” he said.

Conditions in the western Syrian town of Qusair, cut off for weeks by government forces, are increasingly desperate. One doctor described the situation to the BBC’s World Tonight.

The doctor, Muhammad al-Muhammad, described the “oppression” felt in the beleaguered Syrian town.

He said more than 600 injured people were trapped in rebel-held districts with no access to medical assistance.

Many people were running short of food and were “waiting three to four days just for drinking water,” he said.

Qusair has become a fiercely contested battleground between President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and rebel fighters.

Dr Muhammad, based in the north of Qusair, described how the rebel Free Syrian Army were “just unable to control the situation here”.

“The battle is getting bad. There are kids and women that are dying in the battle for more control.”

“Women and children were “without water and bread,” he said. “Everyone’s very sad – a lot of crying, a lot of sadness.”

‘Hezbollah changed the game’

Dr Muhammad told the BBC that the Lebanese Hezbollah movement had greatly strengthened President Assad’s forces.

“We have seen Hezbollah fighters with our own eyes,” he said.

“And we have many corpses of members of Hezbollah that have been fighting on the ground and have lost their lives.”

He believes Hezbollah has made a significant impact.

“I think that Hezbollah has made a huge difference two years into the fighting.”

“It started with the Free Syrian Army and the Assad regime and after two years they are tired of fighting but Hezbollah has definitely changed the game. They have come in and they have definitely strengthened the Assad army in Qusair and particularly in the suburbs.”

Dr Muhammad said he would remain in Qusair, despite the heavy violence. “We will fight until the end, even if that means we will die here.”

BBC

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  • 5thDrawer

    And no refrigerators for the bodies ….

    • dateam

      I was doing some research….In 1970 al-Qusayr had a population of 9,240.[11] According to
      Syria’s Central Bureau of
      Statistics, the city’s population in the 2004 census was 29,818.[1] The BBC estimated the population to be around 40,000 in
      2011–12.[6] According to the
      2004 census, there were 5,304 households in the city.[1]

      In 1838 al-Qusayr had a mixed population of Sunni Muslims and Catholics.[12] Today, most of the
      population follows Sunni
      Islam. Around 10% of the inhabitants used to be Christians[4], but most
      of the Christian population was forced to abandon the town after the rebel
      takeover in June 2012.[13] There were also a
      few hundred Alawite
      Muslims prior to the rebel takeover.[14]

      • 5thDrawer

        Interesting Dateam … the numbers game can show some things of past movements.
        Recently, the movement of people trying to survive and get out of the way of carnage has caused fluctuations in what might be considered ‘normal’ in any given town or city … and some move in wrong directions. Luck of the draw, if you like.
        People move for safety first, and economy reasons secondly. When both are gone, it becomes a toss-up.

  • 5thDrawer

    And no refrigerators for the bodies ….

    • dateam

      I was doing some research….In 1970 al-Qusayr had a population of 9,240.[11] According to
      Syria’s Central Bureau of
      Statistics, the city’s population in the 2004 census was 29,818.[1] The BBC estimated the population to be around 40,000 in
      2011–12.[6] According to the
      2004 census, there were 5,304 households in the city.[1]

      In 1838 al-Qusayr had a mixed population of Sunni Muslims and Catholics.[12] Today, most of the
      population follows Sunni
      Islam. Around 10% of the inhabitants used to be Christians[4], but most
      of the Christian population was forced to abandon the town after the rebel
      takeover in June 2012.[13] There were also a
      few hundred Alawite
      Muslims prior to the rebel takeover.[14]

      • 5thDrawer

        Interesting Dateam … the numbers game can show some things of past movements.
        Recently, the movement of people trying to survive and get out of the way of carnage has caused fluctuations in what might be considered ‘normal’ in any given town or city … and some move in wrong directions. Luck of the draw, if you like.
        People move for safety first, and economy reasons secondly. When both are gone, it becomes a toss-up.